The Charmed Garden

From Planning to Planting, and from Harvest to Table.

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Hello Fellow Garden Geeks.

Well the longest night of 2015 has passed and we have hopefully all made it through the glorious holiday season happier and healthier.  Here the holidays begin with Halloween and end with the new year celebrations. So, its a couple months of friends, family, football, fancy food, and hopefully some spiritual reconnection. If you’re like our family, by this time  we’ve gone through quite a bit of our garden loot, the last of which was harvested late in November. Yep we still had chard, kale, an assortment of peppers and even a few cauliflower stragglers into November. We canned Caponata, which is a basically the last of the harvest all mixed together with a few herbs, and the usual lemon, sugar, and vinegar mix.  We made soups and stewed our tomatoes which we froze.  We parboiled and froze our greens and shared our overflow with anyone who would take them off our hands. It was an abundant year. With the hustle and bustle of the holidays, I didn’t miss the daily visit to the back of our yard to weed, harvest and clean up. Now however, I can nearly see the back of the freezer again and am accepting that I will have to break out the coin and actually pay for my greens. Ugh.

To lift anyone’s spirits who may  already be weary of the cold, grey winter, (me!) I am posting photos of spring gardens. So don’t despair. Color will return in only a few months.

For those of you looking for something “gardeny” to do in the mean time, you can take  this time to prepare a plan for tackling that fussy area of your yard. It may be a water logged area, or a seriously shady area, or even a spot with so much sunlight that  only a few hardy drought resistant perennials could make it their home. For design ideas, click on the R & J Landscape Design tab at the top of this page.

Author: Laurine M. Byrne

I received my certification as a Landscape Designer from Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois and I received my horticulture education through classes at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois and through the master gardener program at Univ of Illinois Extension. In my designs, I love mixing veggies and herbs with native perennials and flowering bushes as you can see from the pictures of my own yard. I love creating gardens for people who like to garden, not just installing traditional landscaping, but actually creating gardens that the homeowner connects to personally. I love that my clients who thought they couldn't grow anything now have green thumbs, because all it takes is the right plant in the right site. And I really love that my clients become my friends in the process of creating their gardens.

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